Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Guru's Musings: Paring Down the Maggie Dixon Award Chase

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

Coming down the stretch and looking at the records of the 23 hires between seasons the Guru identified as the WBCA Division I Maggie Dixon rookie coach of the year award candidate it is a close race but as the Guru sees it there are just eight potentials to put on a list.

And then you go from there.

Based on Wednesday morning's composite standings and looking at records of .500 or better there are just eight names to put on a list.

Here is the survivors of the first cut.

Jimmy Dikes, Arkansas, hired with no experience. 16-0 overall 6-8 SEC
Kurt Godlevske, Butler, a staff promotion. 14-13, 10-6 Big East
Lisa Fortier, Gonzaga, promotion. 22-5, 15-1 1st in WCC.
Joey Wells, Indiana State, prmotion. 16-10, 6-9 Missouri Valey Conference
Tyler Summitt, Louisiana Tech, hire, no HC experience, 14-12, 9-6 C-USA
Kamie Etheridge, Northern Colorado, no HC experience, 15-11, 9-6, Big Sky
Caroline McCombs, Stony Brook, 16-11, 9-5, no HC experience, Amer. East
Chris Boettcher, S. Utah, 12-12, 5-9 Big Sky.

On performance right now, Lisa Fortier, promoted from within, has Gonzaga leading West Coast Conference. But how much was in place to help?

Joey Wells and Chris Boettcher have losing records within their conferences.

Kurt Godlevske. another in-house promotion, has Butler in three-way tie for third in Big East.

Tyler Summitt, former Marquette assistant besides the famous son accolade, has Louisiana Tech vastly improved from 11-19, 5-11 conference finish a year ago so put him on the short list.

Caroline McCombs, a past Auburn assistant, has Stony Brook improved and in the race in the America East.

Of course, polls are open for a while yet, perhaps into the first rounds of the NCAA tournament where one year the famous Ball State upset of Tennessee in the first round produced the winner which until then seemed likely to be Temple's Tonya Cardoza that year. Lindsay Gottlieb, then with Santa Barbara, was also in the hunt,

NCAA Stats Reflect Princeton Teammwork on Road to Perfection

Because the 14th-ranked Tigers of the Ivy League are part of the Guru's PhilhoopsW group, he pulled their stats through Monday on the NCAA site in terms of looking at individual candidates for local postseason honors.

In terms of national competition, the best two performers within a category that shows a high ranking are senior guard Blake Dietrick, a multi-Ivy player of the week who is 17th in field goal percentage shooting while Annie Tarakchian is 19th in defensive rebounds.

But get this. Last week when former Princeton all-time men's great Bill Bradley visited the women's team after their win over Dartmouth at Jadwin Gym he talked about how impressed he was with the way they work as a team.

Incidentally, several coaches scouting teams for themselves that Princeton has played, have remarked how much they were impressed by what they saw of the Tigers on film.

Well the stats seem to bear this all out to the point that if Princeton was the name of one player that individual would be a sure bet all-American and perhaps even on a short list for player of the year.

Here are the high rankings: Scoring offense, 14th; Scoring defense, 6th; Scoring Margin, 2nd, Field goal percentage, 2nd; Field goal percentage defense, 3rd; Rebound margin, 6th; Three-point field goal percentage, 1st; Won-loss, obviously 1st; Assists per game, 16th; Blocked shots, 56th; Assists turnovers, 21st; Three-point field goal defense, 5th; and defensive rebounds per game, 10th.

Enough said. The Guru will be back within 24 hours to offer his list of the prospective NCAA field and the bubbles.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


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